Tag Archives: Manga

Kirkliston Library Manga Workshop

Recently we were invited by Kirkliston library to run a Manga Workshop! The event was held over two consecutive Saturdays this January, and was aimed at young people aged 10+.

Setting up.
Setting up.

We started everybody off on day one with some character creation and development exercises, including the fearsome expressions sheet! How do you draw a smug ninja? It’s the ultimate challenge, but everyone really had fun with it and did a great job.

expressions
Zuzanna’s example efforts

Then we moved on to a collaborative comic creation game – everybody drew one panel of a manga, then passed it on to the next person who continued the story (and so on). Everybody really seemed to have fun with this one!

consequences

We were really pleased with how the first day went, so we were looking forward to coming back the next week and doing some more work with the participants on their own ideas. We gave some of the older people in the group a bit of homework – to come up with a character and a rough story for their own manga!

We weren’t sure if anyone was going to take us up on the exciting offer of extra homework, so we planned lots of activities for the second Saturday just in case. We needn’t have worried! All of the young people were really enthusiastic and came up with some brilliant ideas, which we helped them to develop. We did play a few rounds of my favourite game anyway, though – Monster Evolution!

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A few more photos of everyone getting into the Manga zone:

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Thanks to all of the talented young people for coming along and to the staff of Kirkliston library for making it a great couple of days!

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We’re so Manga.

From Scotland to Japan – An Interview With Sean Michael Wilson

Sean Michael Wilson is a manga and comics writer who grew up in Edinburgh, and made the move to Japan where he has made it big in the manga world.  He is the writer of a number of successful manga including ‘Yakuza Moon’ and ‘Hagakure’.  He is the editor of the Harvey Award nominated anthology ‘AX: Alternative Manga’.  We got in touch to ask him about his experiences as an international writer and editor.  Here he discusses his work, and also announces a very exciting opportunity for Scotland based artists.  Read on!

What comics did you grow up reading, and what has influenced you work most?

Like most kids in Scotland and the rest of the UK I grew up reading comics as a matter of course. It was Whizzer and Chips and Victor, ones like that at the start. Then, like a whole generation, I got the 2000AD benders! It was 2000AD that plunged me into the deep well of comics that I am yet to crawl back out of. And I don’t want to, there are many great wonders in it. But I also quickly got into even more mature comics, like Warrior and Escape. Interest in Superheroes was only a short concern for me, because the more indie stuff seemed so much more vital and moving. Of course Alan Moore, and also Eddie Campbell, Grant Morrison, Harvey Pekar, Joe Sacco. This is nothing new but Moore has deeply influenced me, as with many others. Not so much that you can see it in my writing, but in the stance of wanting to do work that matters to you, that has a high level of sophistication. The love of the medium as an artistic form of expression and exploration. Cheers big Al!

What was the draw of Japan for a Scottish born comic creator?  How important is where you live and where you come from in making comics?

The draw of Japan is still a mystery to me in one way, although in another way it’s very simple: the lovely women! I came here with a Japanese girlfriend and settled. Apart from that I also thought it would be useful to be in Japan to make an effort to get into working in the manga industry. Which has proven to be the case, through giving it a good go in approaching editors and publishers here, and a bit of luck.  But I often need to make it clear that I’m not an expert in manga, or in fact such a big fan. That sounds odd coming from someone who lives in Japan, works with Japanese artists and publishers everyday, and is the editor of one of the most respected manga anthologies yet to come out (AX), but its true! I’m too busy actually getting on with MAKING my books to have time to become an expert about manga in general. Paul Gravett is an expert. Ryan Holmsberg (who did the Ax bio section for us) is an expert. The only area of manga I am knowledgable in is the gekiga type, the mature, indie style. And even that is mostly because the Ax Japan editor, Asakawa-san, has told me about it.

YAKUZA MOON manga edition, art by Michiru Morikawa

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